Marriage serves a variety of functions in The Comedy of Errors. It’s the stuff of heartache through separation (as with the separation of Egeon and Aemilia), but staying together in marriage can be as much of a heartache as being kept apart. Adriana and E. Antipholus struggle in a marriage that they value, but have to work hard to keep afloat. Adriana is suspicious of E. Antipholus (given her husband’s fondness for a courtesan), who is quick to fly into a rage against her. Marriage is definitely difficult, and how either gender should operate in marriage is the subject of much conversation. The dominant and only present marriage of the play, between Adriana and E. Antipholus, seems to be managed by careful compromise. A more idealized version of marriage is suggested in the potential match between Luciana and S. Antipholus. Luciana’s main concern is learning to submit, properly and entirely, to her husband, and S. Antipholus is looking for someone to guide him and complete him.
In The Comedy of Errors, marriage is central to having a complete identity, especially given Shakespeare’s emphasis on the message of a couple’s unity as related in St. Paul’s Epistle to the Ephesians.
The Comedy of Errors presents equality as the ideal relationship between men and women in a marriage.